THE WORKS OF GEORGE BORROW, VOL.7


* "Olger the Dane and Burman."
* The base text is a redacted version of DgF 30D "Holger Danske og Burmand".
* The D-version (DgF D) is Vedel's I, Nr. 14, entitled "Burman oc Olger Danske" available at Kalliope.
 
THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
 
OLGER THE DANE AND BURMAN
1.
BURMAN in the mountain holds
Makes his shield shine brightly there ;
A message he sends to Iceland's King,
For he has a daughter fair.

2.
' Hear, good King of Iceland, hear,
Hear what now I say to thee :
Give to me thy daughter fair,
And divide thy land with me.

3.
' Either yield thy daughter fair,
And divide with me thy land,
Or the warrior good prepare
Who in fight can me withstand.'

4.
' I have daughter none but one,
Damsel Gloriant her they call;
To King Carvel she's betrothed,
And in him my trust is all.

5.
' I have given her to a King
And King Carvel hight is he ;
If he fail to defend the maid,
Then thy booty she shall be.'

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AND OTHER POEMS AND BALLADS
 
6.
'Twas the King of Iceland good,
To his daughter's bower he goes ;
And the Damsel Gloriant
To receive him gently rose.

7.
' Hear, all dearest daughter mine,
For I bring thee tidings new ;
Burman in the mountain holds,
He would win thee and doth woo.

8.
' Burman is a kempion dour,
And of jesting nought he knows ;
He will surely have thee soon,
If no warrior him oppose.'

9.
It was Damsel Gloriant,
Silent would no longer stand :
' In our tower a prisoner is
Who will Burman take in hand.'

10.
It was Damsel Gloriant,
Her blue mantle o'er her threw ;
Swiftly to the prison tower,
Where the prisoners lay, she flew.

11.
It was Damsel Gloriant,
'Bove the prisoners all she cried :
' Hear thou, Olger good, the Dane,
Have thy legs yet power to stride ?

12.
' Art thou living, Olger Dane ?
I have something to impart;
There is a trold for me that lusts,
And that trold is Burman swart.

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THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
 
13.
' I'll not wed the filthy guest,
I 'm betrothed to Christian knight;
I to thee will subject be
If thou conquer him in fight.'

14.
' Here I 've lain for fifteen years,
All in chains and bondage hard ;
Blessings on thee, Gloriant,
That to me thou hast repaired.

15.
' Here for fifteen years I 've lain,
Borne fierce hunger-pangs, and thirst;
I 'm not able now to wage
Fight as I was able erst.'

16.
' Hear thou me, good Olger Dane,
Save me from my peril, save ;
Ere I take the ugly trold
I would fling me in my grave.

17.
' Burman is fierce, his horse is wild,
I to thee will tell forsooth,
I have heard and been assured
That he bites with wolfish tooth.

18.
' Nothing, nothing will he eat
But the flesh of Christian men ;
And nothing, nothing will he drink
But human blood mixt up with bane.'

19.
' Thy father means a gallant man,
King Carvel, to share thy bed ;
Can he not hold thee from the trold
That thou unto me hast sped ?

22( ⇒ )

 
AND OTHER POEMS AND BALLADS
 
20.
' Blessings on thee, Gloriant,
That thou didst upon me think,
With Burman I will break a lance
If thou give me good meat and drink.

21.
' Canst thou procure my horse again,
My good sword and hauberk tried ?
Then for thy sake it will be,
I a course with him will ride.

22.
' Carvel is my stall-brother true,
To his ears 'twill doubtless come ;
Rather would I lose my life
Than the fiend should bear thee home.'

23.
' The best food which thou shalt choose
I for thee will straight provide ;
And I will give thee thy steed again
Which thou lovest best to ride.

24.
' I will give thee the strongest sword
E'er that armed a warrior's side ;
Give thee too a faulchion hard,
Well thereon thou may'st confide.'

25.
Olger from the tower they took,
Garments for him have they wrought ;
They sat him highest at the board,
And rich meats for him they brought.

26.
Burman riding came to court,
Thought to bear the maid away ;
Olger the Dane against him rode,
And soon found him rougher play.

23( ⇒ )

 
THE SONGS OF SCANDINAVIA
 
27.
For two days they stoutly fought;
As the third towards evening drew,
Down upon a stone they sat,
They their strength would there renew.

28.
Then the valiant Burman Kemp
To the Danish Olger said : '
Quarter I will grant, if thou
Wilt believe in Mahommed.'

29.
Little could brook that, Olger the Dane,
On his foe fierce looks he bent:
' When thou dwell in blackest hell
Say by Olger thou wast sent.'

30.
Up then leapt the kempions twain,
'Gainst each other rode anew ;
Then asunder went their helms,
And afar their faulchions flew.

31.
They fought so long, they fought so hard,
That their strength was well-nigh flown ;
Slain at length was Burman Kemp,
Dead to earth fell Burman down.

32.
Olger to the Damsel rode :
' Thou mayst take thy plighted knight,
For I have with my good sword
Slain the foul and poisonous sprite.'

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